The power of recognising colleagues & experiences
Today is Day 3 of National Inclusion Week, and it is all about recognising and empowering your coworkers. We have a regular intern programme at CSA, and we recently had the pleasure of extending our team with interns Aatman and Anirudth. They have jointly offered their perspectives on life at CSA, the DE&I industry, and their overall experiences of stepping outside of their comfort zones and engaging with new people.
It is often stated that we are consistently learning within the DE&I Industry, how do you feel you have related to this within your internship?
Anirudth: As an individual who actively strives to learn as much as possible from my colleagues and mentors by equipping myself with the skills necessary to navigate through a professional environment, I found it being made easy by the power of recognition and inclusion present at CSA.
Aatman: This internship provided me with valuable work experience, giving me material to add to my resume. Thus, proving to be a perfect way to fill that gap between academic life and full-time employment. I gained valuable exposure to how a business in the DE&I field operates, took part in meetings, and performed assigned tasks in a real-world setting. This internship also proffered a mark of credibility and eligibility and showed that I was ready to get my feet wet and obtain hands-on industry experience.
I can test the research skills I learned in my college/university courses in a practical setting and meaningfully contribute to the important research the CSA does.
This internship has provided me access to people in various departments and jobs. I, completed small tasks for projects alongside, observing the daily-to-day functions of the workplace.
As an intern, I shuffled a host of tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced work environment. Since co-workers expected responses/results from me, I had to manage my time accordingly to fit in all the scheduled tasks. After a few initial pitfalls, I eventually learned the art of time-management and prioritizing tasks.
Choosing an internship in the domain you wish to build your career in, it becomes a stepping-stone for you. You get the chance to work with a company that can teach you the ropes of the trade. Often companies hire interns as a test for future employees, and if you pass their tests, you might even end up being a full-time employee for the same!
When we engage with new people, we often have to leave our comfort zones, sometimes we even end up learning more as a result of this. How have you found this within your internship working at CSA and engaging with people of different backgrounds?
Anirudth: Creating a sense of belonging through the practice of inclusivity and recognition is essential for employee growth and development (gallup & Paradiso, 2022). Everyone that I have had the pleasure and opportunity to interact with at CSA has provided a very nurturing environment with no inhibition to lend a hand when needed.
It is known, thanks to the various studies conducted, that expanding your circle, whether it is done actively or passively, gives an enterprise a chance to be more creative & innovative, a variety of skills to choose from, and overall, a higher revenue in the long run (Cole, 2022).
As a business analyst intern who is being introduced to the concept of DE&I for the first time, watching people from different walks of life interact and synergize in order to achieve a goal or reach a target, I can clearly see how true this is! I feel seen, empowered, and lucky to be rubbing shoulders with and learning firsthand from individuals who have been thriving in this industry for the better part of 10 years.
Aatman: I became more adept at dealing with the unfamiliar and more capable of staying composed and focused when a new challenge presents itself. This improved my decision-making ability and made me less prone to errors.
I quickly understood that it’s very important to continually challenge myself to overcome more fears to reach the peak of my performance level. Identifying other situations or tasks that make me nervous and for that confronting my insecurities one at a time improved my ability to feel comfortable in more challenging situations.
Hearing different opinions has helped me in broadening how I think about things and how I approach problems. Co-workers’ diverse perspectives complemented with a far greater level of experience brought different questions, thoughts, and recommendations that helped me not only to understand situations from other positions, consider other beliefs, experiences, and viewpoints but also to get to the best results. This gave me a better understanding to broaden my mindset and greater empathy. It reduces bias, judgment, and conflict.
All in all, collaboration enabled CSA to marshal our collective resources to become more innovative, effective, and efficient.
What do you think DE&I means across the globe (taking into consideration the historical/societal differences in other countries and how that shapes DE&I understanding)?
Aatman: DE&I is often defined within the western world (United States and Europe) as understanding and appreciating differences and promoting "bringing our full selves to work," this concept does not always apply to other regions. Diversity factors (e.g., race, ethnicity, disability) vary greatly in prevalence and perceptions in different locations. Every nation has its own diversity dimension. For instance, even in seemingly homogenous areas, such as Japan, age and gender are major issues. In India and China, diverse languages and dialects represent another dimension of diversity. Bringing women into the workplace in Pakistan often requires actively working with families to obtain their sponsorship for workplace participation. In Saudi Arabia, providing separate working facilities for women helps to overcome legal and cultural restrictions on male and female interaction.
Therefore, promoting DE&I in different countries it requires understanding and adaptation to changing demographics and workplace dynamics.
Cole, B.M., 2022. 8 reasons why diversity and inclusion are essential to business success. Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/biancamillercole/2020/09/15/8-reasons-why-diversity-and-inclusion-are-essential-to-business-success/?sh=5c00db8a1824 [Accessed September 27, 2022].
inc, G., 2022. Unleashing the human element at work: Transforming workplaces through recognition. Workhuman. Available at: https://www.workhuman.com/resources/reports-guides/unleashing-the-human-element-at-work-transforming-workplaces-through-recognition#main-content [Accessed September 27, 2022].
Paradiso, A., 2022. The importance of inclusion in the workplace. Achievers. Available at: https://www.achievers.com/blog/the-importance-of-inclusion-in-the-workplace/ [Accessed September 27, 2022].
Thursday, 22 September, 2022
- World Youth Skills Day: An Interview With Sophie from Conscious Youth C.I.C Saturday, 15 July, 2023
- From Tokenism to True Colours: How to hone authentic support for the LGBTQIA+ Community in the Workplace Thursday, 22 June, 2023
- Mental Health Awareness Week Monday, 15 May, 2023
- Reflecting On Men’s Role In DEI Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
- National Braille Week: “I’m struggling with my eyesight at work” Friday, 7 October, 2022
- The power of recognising colleagues & experiences Thursday, 22 September, 2022
- Leaving with Dignity Wednesday, 27 July, 2022
- Reflections from the House of Lords Race Debate Friday, 22 July, 2022
- Improving Transgender equity in the workplace UK Thursday, 16 June, 2022
- International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia 2022 Tuesday, 17 May, 2022